Archive for the ‘price’ Category

Thailand May Sell More Rice, Crush Vietnam and World Market price

January 22, 2009

Thailand, the world’s largest rice exporter, is considering selling up to 5m tonnes from its stockpile – equal to a fifth of the world’s annually traded rice.

From FT

The market is worried that such a large disposal could put further downward pressure on prices, which have halved since spiking last year to an all-time high of about $1,100 a tonne.

Thai medium quality rice, the world’s benchmark, however, has showed resilience, trading at $580 a tonne, more than double the price in 2007, supported by fresh demand from importers in Africa, brokers said.

Thailand’s stockpile has built up as a result of its policy of buying surplus production at above market prices in an effort to protect the incomes of farmers.

The country has been paying its farmers a premium of about 30 per cent for their crops in a bid to shield them from lower prices and high production costs, particularly of fertilisers.

The Ministry of Commerce, which controls the rice reserve, has yet to decide whether to release the stocks onto the open market, which could hit world prices, or try to dispose of it in a government-to-government deal. Thailand and Iran have talked in the past about such a deal.

The Vietnamese government recently concluded a deal to sell 500,000 tonnes to the Philippines, the world’s largest importer, at a price of $420 a tonne including freight. The two countries are also talking about further shipments of about 1.0-1.5m tonnes.

Read the rest:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/820ab62c-e8a0-1
1dd-a4d0-0000779fd2ac.html?nclick_check=1

Above: Vietnamese farmers harvest rice…

Oil Held Off Market To Force Price Up

January 15, 2009

From the Indian Ocean to the South Atlantic to the Gulf of Mexico, giant supertankers brimming with oil are resting at anchor or slowly tracing racetrack patterns through the sea, heading nowhere.

By Clifford Krauss
International Herald Tribune

The ships are marking time, serving as floating oil-storage tanks. The companies and countries leasing them for that purpose have made a simple calculation: the price of oil has fallen so far that it is due for a rise.

Some producing countries are trying to force that rise by using the tankers to withhold oil from the market, while traders are trying to profit by buying cheap oil now to store and sell at a higher price later. Oil storage has become so popular that onshore tank capacity is becoming scarce.

Only six months ago, companies up and down the energy pipeline were rushing oil to market, struggling to keep up with galloping demand and soaring prices. Now, with the global economy slumping and people driving less, demand for oil has plunged — and the same companies are acting in ways that would have been unimaginable until recently.

Oil producers are shutting down rigs, refiners are producing less gasoline, and investment planning throughout the industry is in turmoil.

Read the rest:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/01/15/
business/15oil.php

Russia to Attend OPEC Summit

December 13, 2008

The head of OPEC says Russia and three other non-cartel members will take part in the oil producers’ summit next week in Oran, Algeria.

Chakib Khelil says Russia will send its deputy prime minister in charge of energy and its oil minister to Wednesday’s summit. The other guest countries invited by the 14-member cartel are Oman, Azerbaijan and Syria.

Khelil asserts that a final consensus has been reached by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to reduce oil output levels.

The OPEC head, who is also Algeria’s oil minister, spoke Saturday.

Associated Press

Oil Prices Soar as Russia Announces Output Cut

December 12, 2008

Crude oil prices jumped more than 10 percent Thursday after Russia said it was ready to join forces with OPEC and cut output.

Traders shrugged off a forecast of the first decline in oil demand in 25 years, instead anticipating joint efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia to slash production in an effort to bolster prices.

Oil rigs extract petroleum in the Los Angeles area community ... 
Oil rigs extract petroleum in the Los Angeles area community of Culver City, California. Crude oil prices jumped more than 10 percent Thursday after Russia said it was ready to join forces with OPEC and cut output.(AFP/Getty Images/File/David McNew)

Light sweet crude for delivery in January closed at 47.98 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, a gain of 4.46 dollars, or 10.25 percent, from Wednesday’s close.

In London, Brent North Sea crude for January jumped 4.99 dollars, or 11.77 percent, to settle at 47.39 dollars a barrel on the InterContinental Exchange.

AFP

After the benchmark New York contract closed Friday at a four-year low of 40.50 dollars, the market has increasingly focus on next week’s OPEC meeting in Oran, Algeria.

Russia is ready to join forces with OPEC to stem the plunge in crude prices and could even become part of the oil cartel if membership were in Moscow’s interests, Russia President Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday.

“Our partners, colleagues from the oil club (OPEC) are asking us to have a coordinated policy and whoever I meet, they are asking quite actively,” he said in remarks broadcast on state television.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081211/bs_afp
/commoditiesenergyoilprice_081211214936

Russia Will Join OPEC’s Plan to Cut Output

December 10, 2008

Faced with falling oil prices, Russia is preparing to announce that it will work with OPEC in coordinating a reduction in output, the minister of energy said Wednesday.

Earlier this fall, a Russian official floated the idea of storing oil, rather than exporting it, to help the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries stabilize prices, but this is the first time that the Kremlin has offered to reduce output.

By Andrew Kramer
The New York Times 

Workers weld a first juncture of the Eastern Siberia-Pacific ...
Workers weld a first juncture of the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline in Siberia’s Tynda-Skovorodino region, eastern Russia, October 2006. Russia said Wednesday it would announce proposals to reduce its oil output by December 17, signalling the energy superpower’s readiness to cooperate with OPEC to prop up falling crude prices.(AFP/File/Str)

World oil prices, which have been slumping around $40 a barrel, rose in response to the comments by the minister of energy, Sergei I. Shmatko, in early trading in New York Friday. Oil settled at $43.10 a barrel, up $1.03.

Mr. Shmatko said that by Dec. 17, the date of the next scheduled OPEC meeting, Russia will announce a plan to reduce the country’s oil production, the Interfax news agency reported. The minister offered no details of how this would be done, or how much oil might be taken off the market. Mr. Shmatko said Russia would also seek to persuade other non-OPEC producers to reduce output. A spokeswoman for the ministry declined to elaborate.

While formally at arms length, Russia and OPEC have flirted over some form of cooperation through the fall.

It is development sure to alarm consumers, who where just breathing a sigh of relief as American gasoline prices dipped below $2 a gallon. It is unclear, however, how much effect Russia’s increasingly anti-Western government might have on prices.

The Russian oil sector is a blend state-owned and private companies including a major joint venture with BP, the British oil giant, that would have to answer to stockholders for a reduction in revenue caused by a drop in output. Producing and transporting oil is costly in Russia and idling pipelines and fields could severely damage the industry.

Typically in oil price slumps, Russia and the Soviet Union before it has continued to pump oil freely, benefiting from the support for world oil prices provided by OPEC’s members, while not sharing in the financial loss of cutbacks. Norway and Mexico also benefit from OPEC while not belonging to it.

Other non-OPEC countries, meanwhile, have rejected any cooperation with OPEC. A spokesman for the ministry of petroleum and energy in Norway, the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter, said Wednesday that his country would not cooperate with the cartel, regardless of Russia’s decision, Bloomberg news reported.

In this fall’s steep drop off in oil prices, Saudi Arabia had been pressuring non-OPEC countries, particularly Russia, to cooperate. Russia pumps about 9.8 million barrels of oil a day, the second-greatest output in the world after the Saudis, and exports about seven million barrels of crude oil and refined products, mostly to Europe.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/11/business/worldbu
siness/11oil.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=opec,%20russia&st=cse

Global demand for oil to plummet

December 10, 2008

Global oil demand will collapse next year and commodities will not return to the highs they reached this summer in the foreseeable future, two authoritative reports said on Tuesday as they forecast a long and painful worldwide recession.

The stark conclusions came as the World Bank’s chief economist predicted that the world faced “the worst recession since the Great Depression”.

By Javier Blas in London and Krishna Guha
FT

A view of an oil refinery off the coast of Singapore March 14, ... 
A view of an oil refinery off the coast of Singapore.(Vivek Prakash/Reuters)

The US energy department said global oil demand will fall this year and next, marking the first two consecutive years’ decline in 30 years.

“The increasing likelihood of a prolonged global economic downturn continues to dominate market perceptions, putting downward pressure on oil prices,” it said, forecasting that demand would drop 50,000 barrels a day this year and a hefty 450,000 b/d in 2009. US oil demand will drop next year to the lowest level in 11 years.

Meanwhile, the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects report said the commodities boom of the past five years – which drove up prices 130 per cent – had “come to an end”.

Read the rest:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/bcda848c-c62a-11
dd-a741-000077b07658.html

Iran: Nuclear? Rich With Oil? A Threat? Some Dubious Ideas Linger….

December 5, 2008

The incoming Barack Obama administration has already been inundated with reports, policy recommendations and position papers vying for the president-elect’s attention on the Iran nuclear issue. Although nicely wrapped in the semantics of a “fresh” or “game-changing” approach, the majority are familiar and lack novelty, and this should come as no surprise as many were penned by old US foreign policy hands like Dennis Ross and Martin Indyk.

As a result, even when they seem to be suggesting a reasonable “new thinking” in the US’s Iran policy, wedded to the idea of “engagement” and or “dialogue without preconditions”, these noble efforts are, however, undermined by their reliance on dubious assumptions. Not to mention their restrictive methodologies, which ultimately veer them back towards the same old plans for “coercive diplomacy”.

By Kaveh L Afrasiabi 
Asia Times 

There are also the limits to the “dialogue without preconditions” logic put forth by, among others, the president of Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, in a new collaborative report with Indyk published by the Brookings Institution. Although positive in many respects and apparently earning the disapproval of Israel, the Haass-Indyk call for engaging Iran in dialogue without preconditions falls short of what is really necessary and lacking in Washington today, that is, dialogue without false assumptions.

One such false assumption that has been adopted like an article of faith by nearly all the pundits and nuclear experts in the US today, is that Iran is fast approaching a “nuclear breakout capability” – in light of Iran’s double process of mastering the nuclear fuel cycle and advancing its missile technology. This has warranted the word “crisis”, to quote US Senator Jon Kyl. [1] Not to be outdone by politicians, a number of nuclear experts, such as David Albright, have echoed the sentiment.

Read the rest:
http://atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JL06Ak01
.html

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Ahmadinejad, Iran Worry Oil’s Price Shrinks Thier Importance

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has for the first time admitted that the fall in world oil prices will affect the economic projects of his government, local media reported on Thursday.

“If we fix the oil price at 30 dollars a barrel in the budget, we will have to abandon much of our economic projects … We have to set it at 30 to 35 dollars as we don’t determine the oil price on international markets,” he said.

He acknowledged that “oil prices will be low for some time” because of the global recession.

Iran, which is OPEC’s second largest producer, has an official oil output of 4.2 million barrels a day, with half of the country’s budget dependent on its crude exports.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (left) Foreign Minister ... 
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (left) Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki in Tehran on December 1, 2008. Ahmadinejad has for the first time admitted that the fall in world oil prices will affect the economic projects of his government, local media reported.(AFP/File/Atta Kenare)

Ahmadinejad boasted only last month that his government could run the country “with a barrel of oil priced at between eight and five dollars.”

“Even if we reach the point where the enemies do not buy our oil any more, we can manage the country. Thanks God, fluctuations in oil prices will have no effect on the next budget,” he said.

From:  AFP

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081204/wl_midea
st_afp/iranpoliticseconomy_081204163303